Skills and Post-16 Education Bill [HL]

Explanatory Notes

Skills for Jobs White Paper

4 A skills shortage in this country has limited the number of people working in important jobs such as engineering and health and social care. This has held the UK economy back, leaving the country less productive and less competitive compared to some international peers. It has also left people unable to realise their ambitions and fulfil their potential, wherever they live in the country. These problems have been exacerbated by COVID-19, which has hit the economy and disproportionately affected young people.

5 The Skills for Jobs: Lifelong Skills for Opportunity and Growth White Paper set out the Government’s plan to reform the post-16 skills system and address these challenges. The White Paper set out five objectives:

i. Putting employers at the heart of post-16 skills

ii. Providing the advanced technical and higher technical skills the country needs

iii. A flexible Lifetime Skills Guarantee

iv. Responsive providers supported by effective accountability and funding

v. Supporting outstanding teaching

6 The Bill is intended to support these objectives by introducing measures that affect individuals, providers, regulators, businesses and teachers. The range of measures aims to provide flexibility and protection for the learner, a skills system linked to employer-led standards, and high-quality training. The specific measures are detailed in the Bill Overview section of these notes.

7 The Bill is one part of the wider skills reform agenda and the Government is consulting separately on other aspects of the White Paper.

8 Additional measures in the Bill aim to improve the overall functioning of the skills and post-16 education system. This includes providing improvements associated with the operation of the FE insolvency regime and making specific provision for the Office for Students' methods of assessing quality as part of its regulation of Higher Education ("HE") providers in England.


18th May 2021